This Guide provides Indian Health Service employees, as well as leave approving officials (LAOs), basic regulatory and policy guidance on the various leave programs available to civilian employees. It is not a substitute for any Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) or IHS regulations that are more comprehensive.
More specific guidance may be obtained by contacting your HR Officer, as well as reviewing the references used in preparation of this Guide.
A non-pay status for an absence from duty not authorized by the proper leave approving official.
Leave earned by an employee during the current leave year that is unused at any given time in that leave year.
Unused leave remaining to the credit of an employee at the beginning of a leave year.
A disease that is ruled as subject to quarantine, requires isolation of the patient, or requires restriction of movement by the patient or requires restriction of contact by the patient for a specified period, as prescribed by a physician or state or county public health authorities having jurisdiction. This also includes any situation where such limitation on the patient's freedom of contact prohibits attendance at work, school, or daycare. Childhood diseases such as measles or chicken pox that require isolation meet this definition.
- For entitlements under the Voluntary Leave Transfer Program, the Voluntary Leave Bank, Sick Leave for Family Care and Bereavement [formerly known as Federal Employees Family Friendly Leave Act (FEFFLA)], and sick leave to care for a family member with a serious health condition, family member is defined as a spouse (a partner in any legally recognized marriage regardless of the employee’s state of residence, as well as common law marriage in states where such marriages are recognized), and parents thereof; children (including adopted or foster children, stepchildren, or a legal ward), and spouses or domestic partners thereof; parents, and spouses or domestic partners thereof; brothers and sisters, and spouses or domestic partners thereof; grandparents and grandchildren, and spouses or domestic partners thereof; and any individual related by blood or affinity whose close association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship.
- For entitlements under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), family member is defined as spouse (a partner in any legally recognized marriage regardless of the employee’s state of residence, as well as common law marriage in states where such marriages are recognized); son or daughter (including adopted or foster children, stepchildren, or a legal ward); or parent. Note that the term “spouse” does not include unmarried domestic partners, unless they meet the requirements of being spouses in a common-law marriage in states where such marriages are recognized.
A licensed Doctor of Medicine or Doctor of Osteopathy or a physician who is serving on active duty in the uniformed services and is designated by the uniform service to conduct examinations; any provider recognized by the Federal Employees' Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) or who is licensed or certified under Federal or State law to provide the service in question; a Federal or State licensed or certified provider, recognized by FEHBP who practices in a foreign country; a Native American traditional healing practitioner; or a Christian Science practitioner listed with the First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts.
The inability to work, attend school, or perform other regular daily activities because of a serious health condition or treatment for or recovery from a serious health condition.
Officials of IHS who have been delegated authority to act on employee requests (usually the immediate supervisor).
Approved leave for which the employee is not paid and which the employee requests. Except where specifically authorized by law or as a matter of right, granting of leave without pay is a matter of supervisory discretion. The fact that it is an approved absence distinguishes it from AWOL, which is an unauthorized absence and may serve as a cause for disciplinary action.
The period beginning with the first day of the first complete pay period in a calendar year and ending with the day immediately before the first day of the first complete pay period in the following calendar year.
A written statement signed by a health care provider which is sufficiently specific for the LAO to make a reasonable decision concerning whether or not the employee was incapacitated to perform the duties of his/her position and/or was receiving necessary medical treatment. Requirements for medical documentation may vary dependent upon individual circumstances and the category of leave which the employee requests.
- An illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves:
- Inpatient care in a hospital, hospice, or residential medical care facility, including any period of incapacity or any subsequent treatment in connection with such inpatient care; or
- Continuing treatment by a health care provider that includes, but is not limited to, examinations to determine if there is a serious health condition and evaluations of such conditions if the examinations or evaluations determine that a serious health condition exists.
- Continuing treatment by a health care provider may include one or more of the following:
- Any period of incapacity of more than three consecutive calendar days, including any subsequent treatment or period of incapacity relating to the same condition, that also involves:
- Treatment two or more times by (or under the supervision of) a health care provider; or
- Treatment by (or under the supervision of) a health care provider on at least one occasion that results in a regimen of continuing treatment.
- Any period of incapacity due to pregnancy or for prenatal care.
- Any period of incapacity or treatment for such incapacity due to a chronic serious health condition that:
- Requires periodic visits for treatment by a health care provider;
- Continues over an extended period of time (including recurring episodes of a single underlying condition); and
- May cause episodic rather than a continuing period of incapacity; e.g., asthma, diabetes, or epilepsy.
- A period of incapacity that is permanent or long-term due to a condition for which treatment may not be effective; e.g., Alzheimer's, severe stroke, or terminal stages of a disease.
- Any period of absence to receive multiple treatments (including any period of recovery) from a health care provider either for restorative surgery after an accident or other injury or for a condition that would likely result in a period of incapacity of more than three consecutive calendar days in the absence of medical intervention or treatment; e.g., chemotherapy/radiation for cancer, physical therapy for severe arthritis, or dialysis for kidney disease.
- Other examples of a serious health condition include heart attacks, heart conditions involving bypass or valve operations, most cancers, back conditions requiring extensive therapy or surgery, severe respiratory conditions, spinal injuries, appendicitis, pneumonia, emphysema, severe arthritis, severe nervous disorders, injuries caused by serious accidents on or off the job, pregnancy, miscarriages, complications or illnesses related to pregnancy (e.g., severe morning sickness), the need for prenatal care, childbirth, and recovery from childbirth.
- Examples of conditions not considered a serious health condition include routine physical, eye, or dental examinations; conditions where over-the-counter medicines and/or bed rest are initiated without a visit to a health care provider; voluntary or cosmetic treatments that are not medically necessary; and surgical procedures that typically do not involve hospitalization and require only a brief recovery period.
- In addition, the common cold, flu, earaches, upset stomach, minor ulcers, headaches (other than migraines), allergies, restorative dental or plastic surgery after an injury, or mental illness resulting from stress are not considered serious health conditions unless complications develop or if such conditions require inpatient care or continuing treatment by a health care provider.
- The minimum charge for annual leave, sick leave, or LWOP is one-quarter (1/4) hour and additional leave is charged in multiples of 1/4 hour. Annual leave, however, may only be donated, under the provision of the Voluntary Leave Transfer Program, in increments of one hour.
- Leave is charged only on those days the employee would otherwise work and receive pay. Employees who are in a non-pay status (LWOP or AWOL) immediately before and after a holiday will not be placed in a pay status on the holiday.
- If an employee is unavoidably absent or tardy for less than 60 minutes, for a reason that is acceptable to the LAO, he or she may be excused without charge to leave. However, the official may decide not to excuse the absence, and may charge the employee AWOL or may approve a request for leave.
- An employee may not be required to perform work during those periods of tardiness or unauthorized absence from duty for which the employee is charged with leave or AWOL. [Example: An employee reports to work 35 minutes late and is charged 3/4 hour of annual leave, sick leave, LWOP, or AWOL; the employee cannot be required to perform work until that 3/4 hour is concluded.]
- If the Federal Government is operating under a "delayed arrival" due to inclement weather conditions, an employee will not be charged leave for the designated number of hours past their normal arrival time. If the policy for the day is "unscheduled leave," a non-emergency employee may take annual leave or LWOP without receiving advance approval from his/her LAO. However, the employee must call and notify the LAO of his/her intention as soon as possible. Additional information regarding temporary closing of the workplace may be obtained from your Administrative officer.
- An employee serving under an appointment with a definite time limitation cannot be granted leave greater than the amount that can be earned and before the appointment expires or the end of the leave year, whichever is sooner.
- An employee whose appointment is scheduled for 90 calendar days or more may use annual leave and sick leave during the first 90 days of employment (beginning with the first day of the first pay period following his/her appointment) and may also request LWOP. If an appointment is scheduled for less than 90 calendar days, an employee is not entitled to earn annual leave until after being employed for a continuous period of 90 days under successive appointments without a break in service. As soon as an employee has 90 days of employment, he/she earns annual leave retroactive to the initial appointment date.
- If an employee takes LWOP under an appointment of less than 90 days and then earns annual leave retroactive to his/her initial appointment date that annual leave may not be substituted for the LWOP that was already taken.
- An employee who has not been approved for advanced annual or sick leave and has an insufficient balance of leave to cover an approved period of absence may not later substitute accrued leave for LWOP taken earlier.
If proper leave-requesting procedures have been followed and acceptable evidence has been provided, an employee must be granted annual and/or sick leave or LWOP, consistent with current law and regulations governing the granting and use of annual leave, sick leave, and LWOP in the following cases:
- When invoking LWOP or a substitution of paid sick and/or annual leave under the FMLA;
- When requesting sick leave under the FFLA to care for a family member or make arrangements for or to attend the funeral of a family member;
- When requesting accrued sick leave to care for a family member with a serious health condition;
- When requesting paid leave for bone marrow or organ donation;
- When requesting sick leave for the purpose of adoption;
- For medical treatment of disabled veterans;
- For a military order of call to active duty; or
- When the employee has suffered an incapacitating job-related injury and is awaiting adjudication of a claim for benefits under the Federal Employees' Compensation Act.
This requirement does not apply to a request of advance sick or annual leave.
- Ensure that all employees under their supervision are informed of the procedures they must follow for requesting and using leave.
- Ensure that absences from duty are appropriately charged according to applicable laws and regulations.
- Ensure early in the leave year that employees are aware that annual leave should be scheduled for use to avoid situations where employees approach the end of the year with significant amounts of leave to be used or forfeited, and to ensure adequate staff coverage to meet operating needs.
- Notify employees that they must submit leave requests before the start of the third pay period before the end of the leave year each year, in order to avoid forfeiture of Use-or-Lose annual leave.
- Plan, apply for, and obtain approval in advance for all anticipated leave.
- Unless instructed otherwise by the LAO, when absent for an unanticipated reason, notify the LAO within the first hour after being scheduled to report for duty, or first hour of core time if under a flexible work schedule.
- Request all leave through a leave-requesting vehicle (in writing, ITAS, etc.) approved by the IC.
- Provide appropriate medical documentation as requested by the LAO.
- Employees with less than three years of Federal service earn four hours of annual leave each pay period.
- Employees with at least three, but less than 15, years of Federal service earn six hours of annual leave each pay period.
- Employees with 15 or more years of Federal service earn eight hours of annual leave each pay period.
- Based on a full-time, 80-hour tour, an employee in the four-hour category will earn 104 hours of leave each year; an employee in the six-hour category will earn 160 hours of leave each year; and an employee in the eight-hour category will earn 208 hours of leave each year.
- Part-time employees accrue leave on a prorated basis. Employees in the four-hour category earn one hour for every 20 hours worked; employees in the six-hour category earn one hour for every 13 hours worked; and employees in the eight-hour category earn one hour for every ten hours worked.
- Annual leave becomes available for use at the beginning of the pay period in which it is earned, provided the employee does not separate before the end of the pay period.
- An employee who begins employment after the pay period begins (Sunday) or separates before the end of a pay period (Saturday) does not earn leave for that pay period, unless he/she comes on board the day after a holiday or transfers from another agency, with no break in service.
- The LAO makes the final determination as to the scheduling and the amount of annual leave granted at any specific time. An exception to this is if the employee is requesting to substitute annual leave for LWOP after invoking his/her entitlement under FMLA. Denials of leave will be based upon factors that are reasonable, equitable, and non-discriminating.
- Except in cases of emergency, annual leave must be requested by the employee and approved by the LAO in advance of the absence.
- The employee's desires and personal convenience as well as the work schedule are to be considered when granting leave. Employees may be placed on annual leave as the needs of the service require (during a period of reduced or suspended operations or where an employee is instructed to take vacation at a time other than at the specific time initially requested).
- Requiring the use of annual leave must be based on factors that are reasonable and equitable, which do not discriminate among employees, and which are not arbitrary.
- LAOs must not make arbitrary decisions to deny leave.
- A maximum of 240 hours may be carried over from one leave year to another; Senior Executive Service employees may carry over 720 hours; under other specific circumstances, some employees may carry over amounts larger than 240.
Any leave to the employee's credit at the end of the leave year that exceeds the maximum accumulation is subject to forfeiture. However, leave that is forfeited may be restored under certain circumstances. To be considered for restoration, the leave must have been:
- Forfeited because of a documented illness or injury preventing rescheduling and use during the remainder of the leave year;
- Forfeited due to administrative error; or
- Forfeited due to an exigency of public business (when the demands or needs of an organization are of such importance that the employee cannot be released from duty and previously approved leave is canceled). This leave must be documented and approved in writing by the official designated by each IC in order to be the basis for restoration, and
- Requested and approved in writing before the start of the third biweekly pay period prior to the end of the leave year.
- An employee approved for restoration may use the restored leave in any order he/she wishes; i.e., before or after any accrued leave. However, leave that has been restored must be used by the end of the leave year in which the two-year anniversary occurs.
- Restored leave may be donated to an approved leave recipient under the Voluntary Leave Transfer Program.
- Consult your Administrative Officer prior to cancellation of approved leave that exceeds the 240-hour carry over amount for more information.
- An employee has no entitlement to advance annual leave.
- Annual leave must not be advanced when it is likely the employee will retire, be separated, or resign before earning the leave to repay the advance.
- An employee may be granted advance annual leave up to the amount to be earned by the end of the appointment or the end of the current leave year, whichever is sooner.
- An employee who is separated while indebted for advance annual leave must refund the amount due or have the amount used deducted from any monies due to the employee.
- Officials with sufficient knowledge and expertise to exercise this authority in accordance with law, regulation and written policy, designated by each IC; normally the employee's LAO.
- Use of annual leave for military duty may be approved only after military leave has been exhausted (see Military Leave in this Guide).
- Decisions to approve or disapprove requests for advanced annual leave should be coordinated with the Administrative Officer to ensure consistent application of policies within the IC.
- Annual leave may be applied to retroactively liquidate an advance of sick leave. However, it must not be applied retroactively for regular sick leave.
- Annual leave may be substituted for sick leave for a period of extended illness for which the employee does not have sufficient sick leave to his or her credit (including for maternity purposes).
- All full-time employees earn four hours of sick leave every pay period. Part-time employees earn sick leave on a prorated basis - one hour for every 20 hours worked.
- When the employee is incapacitated for performance of duties by physical or mental illness, injury, pregnancy, or childbirth.
- When the employee receives medical, dental, or optical examinations or treatment, including periodic physical examinations for retention of status in the Reserve or National Guard.
- When the employee participates in drug or alcohol counseling or rehabilitation programs.
- When the employee provides care for a family member as a result of physical or mental illness, injury, pregnancy, childbirth, or medical, dental, or optical examinations or treatment, under restrictions of the FFLA (a maximum of 104 hours of accrued sick leave each leave year).
- When the employee makes arrangements for or attends the funeral of a family member under the restrictions of the FFLA (a maximum of 104 hours of accrued sick leave each leave year).
- When the employee provides care for a family member suffering from a serious medical condition (a maximum of 480 hours of accrued sick leave each leave year).
- When an employee, as determined by the health authorities having jurisdiction or by a health care provider, would jeopardize the health of others by his or her presence on the job because of exposure to a contagious disease.
- When the employee must be absent from duty for purposes relating to the adoption of a child, including appointments with adoption agencies, social workers, and attorneys, court proceedings, required travel, and any other activities necessary to allow the adoption to proceed.
- Sick leave is not available for use until after it is earned. However, an employee with a zero sick leave balance may, at the discretion of the LAO, be advanced sick leave during the pay period. At the end of the pay period, the sick leave earned will automatically be applied toward the liquidation of the advance sick leave.
- This is no limitation on the amount of sick leave that may be carried forward from one year to another.
- Sick leave for prearranged medical appointments (including dental or optical examinations or treatment and drug and alcohol counseling sessions) or care of a family member must be requested in advance of the absence.
- Emergency requests for sick leave for absence because of illness, injury, exposure to contagious disease, care of a family member under the FFLA, care of a family member with a serious health condition, or other circumstances of incapacity which are not known in advance must be requested as soon as possible after the beginning of the absence (normally within the first hour after being scheduled to report for duty), unless otherwise instructed by the LAO.
- Ordinarily, absences of three days or less for which sick leave is requested do not require medical documentation unless the LAO has otherwise advised the employee.
- Sick leave of more than three consecutive workdays (or shorter periods if instructed by the LAO) because of an employee's personal illness may require medical documentation.
- Any medical documentation required must be signed by a health care provider, and must be sufficiently specific for the LAO to make a reasonable decision concerning whether or not the employee was incapacitated to perform the duties of his/her position and/or was receiving medical treatment. It must specifically identify the dates of the incapacitation and/or treatment and, if appropriate, provide an estimated date of full or partial recovery. More specific requirements for medical documentation may be imposed by the LAO, as appropriate.
- Employees must submit required documentation within a reasonable amount of time after return to duty. Failure to submit required medical documentation may result in the employee's absence being charged to AWOL and may result in disciplinary action.
- In cases of extended illness, medical documentation may be periodically required to establish the employee's continued incapacity and inability to return to duty.
- If there is any doubt as to the validity or adequacy of the medical documentation presented to support a request for sick leave, an Occupational Medical Service (OMS) physician may be requested to review the documentation submitted, and more specific documentation may be requested.
- Where evidence does not justify the approval of sick leave, the absence may be charged to annual leave or LWOP with the employee's consent, or AWOL if the absence is not approved.
- Employees in positions that have specific medical standards, physical requirements, or are covered by a medical evaluation program must provide medical certification of their ability to return to work after taking medical leave for their own serious health condition.
- The LAO determines what is acceptable medical certification.
- If necessary, an OMS physician may be asked for assistance in making this determination.
- A maximum of 240 hours may be carried over from one leave year to another; Senior Executive Service employees may carry over 720 hours; under other specific circumstances, some employees may carry over amounts larger than 240.
- Advance sick leave is a privilege that may be extended to employees regardless of whether the employee has annual leave. An employee, however, has no entitlement to advance sick leave.
- Advance sick leave is not a routine or standard procedure, but generally considered for serious disability, illness, incapacitation, or confinement for and after childbirth.
- Full-time permanent employees may be advanced up to 240 hours of sick leave due to a personal medical condition. For an employee holding a limited appointment, sick leave must not be advanced in excess of the sick leave to be earned during the remaining period of the appointment.
- Application for advance sick leave must be in writing and supported by medical documentation.
- LAOs are cautioned that only information necessary to make a decision may be required.
- Advance sick leave is not granted if it is considered likely that the employee will not return to duty for a sufficient period of time to repay the advanced leave; e.g., anticipated retirement or separation.
- Advance sick leave is liquidated automatically as sick leave is accrued each pay period, but repayment is not required when separation is because of death, approved disability retirement, or optional retirement or resignation, if accompanied by medical documentation supporting inability to work.
- An employee who is separated, for reasons other than the above, while indebted for advance sick leave must refund the amount due or have the amount owed deducted from any monies due to the employee. For example, the indebtedness may be charged against available annual leave, repaid from earned salary, or repaid from retirement contributions.
- Officials with sufficient knowledge and expertise to exercise this authority in accordance with law, regulation and written policy, designated by each IC; normally the employee's LAO.
Military leave is authorized absence of an employee from official duty to perform full-time active military duty, active or inactive duty for training (excluding weekend duty), or law enforcement. Military leave is prorated for part-time career employees and employees on an uncommon tour of duty. An employee may be granted up to 15 calendar days a fiscal year (Oct. 1 through Sept. 30) for active duty, active duty training, and inactive duty training with the National Guard or an Armed Forces Reserve Unit. The employee will submit a copy of the orders and evidence that the duty was performed. Non-workdays falling within a period of absence (holidays or weekends) are NOT charged against the 15-day maximum.
Unused portions of the 15 calendar days of military duty may be carried over from one year to the next. However, a maximum of 15 days may be carried over.
An additional 22 workdays a year may be granted when an employee is ordered to perform military duty to provide military aid to enforce the law or protect life and property, or if called to active duty in support of a contingency operation.
Unlimited military leave is provided to members of the National Guard of the District of Columbia for certain types of duty ordered or authorized under Title 10 of the District of Columbia Code.
- Be a member of a Reserve or National Guard component.
- Have a full-time or part-time (16 - 32 hours a week tour of duty) permanent appointment
- Present official military orders, ordering or calling the Reservist or National Guard member to duty.
- Temporary appointments with a one-year not-to-exceed date are not eligible for military leave (includes initial or subsequent one-year appointments).
- Any appointment that has an intermittent tour of duty is not eligible.
- Employees ineligible for military leave may be allowed use of their earned annual leave for military duty.
Court leave is authorized absence from duty without loss of pay or charge to annual leave to perform jury duty in a Federal, state, or municipal court or to serve as a witness in a judicial proceeding in which the United States, the District of Columbia, or state or local government is a party.
- This includes absence during periods of regularly scheduled overtime as well as absence during the employee's basic workweek.
- For the purpose of court leave, a military court is considered the same as a Federal court.
- A permanent or temporary employee with a regularly scheduled tour of duty (part-time or full-time) is eligible.
- Employees serving on an intermittent or when-actually-employed basis are not eligible for court leave.
- Court leave can be granted only for those days and hours the employee would otherwise be in a pay status.
- An employee cannot be granted court leave for jury or witness duty performed within a period of non-pay status (LWOP or AWOL).
- Employees serving as witnesses in a court action between private individuals or companies in which the United States, the District of Columbia, or a state or local government is not an involved party are not eligible for court leave.
- An employee requesting court leave must provide appropriate documentation to the LAO.
- An employee summoned by court or jury duty is under the jurisdiction and control of the court for the term of the court or jury service.
- The employee must return to duty during periods when he or she is excused from court or jury duty and would normally be scheduled to work, including weekends and/or holidays, unless this would be impractical.
- As a general rule, if there are two or more hours remaining in the employee's workday, exclusive of reasonable travel time, the employee should report for duty.
- If the employee fails to report for duty as directed, annual leave, LWOP, or AWOL is charged for the excess time involved.
- The employee must submit to the LAO, written evidence, of court attendance.
- Employees must reimburse to IHS any fees paid for service as a juror or witness. However, monies paid to jurors or witnesses which are in the nature of "expenses" (e.g., transportation, parking, etc.) do not have to be reimbursed.
Excused absence is time off without charge to leave or loss of pay. With the 2016 Administrative Leave Act, excused absence can be broken into four (4) categories: Administrative Leave, Weather & Safety Leave, Investigative Leave, and Notice Leave. Following is a list of circumstances when granting excused absence applies:
Administrative leave is permitted at the discretion of the supervisor when no other paid leave is available under other categories. An employee may not be placed on administrative leave for more than ten (10) total workdays (or eighty (80)) hours in any given calendar year.
- Tardiness and absences for a short period of time when there is an adequate explanation from the employee.
- Voting and voter registration in a government election. As a general rule, where the polls are not open at least three hours either before or after an employee's regular tour of duty, he/she may be granted an amount of excused leave which will permit him/her to report for work up to three hours after the polls open or leave work up to three hours before the polls close, whichever requires the lesser amount of time off. Annual leave or LWOP may be requested for voting; approval is optional by the LAO.
- Consultation with the Human Resource Office or EEO Office; visits to the OMS related to a job-related injury/illness; other job-related evaluations; or a job-related surveillance program.
- Blood donation. Up to two hours for donation and recovery, if needed. Additional time is allowed for other procedures, such as blood platelet donations.
- Medically-supported absence on the day of a job-related injury.
- Up to four hours per day, after continuation of pay (COP) days are exhausted or when there is no entitlement to COP, for treatment of on-the-job injuries or occupational illnesses, during duty hours within six months of the date of injury or illness.
- Required physical examinations, e.g., fitness for duty, occupational health programs, or in connection with an application for disability retirement.
- Job interviews, when it is determined that this is in the Department's interest.
- Employees with fewer than 80 hours of accrued sick leave may be granted up to four hours of excused absence for preventive health care.
Weather and Safety Leave is permitted when it is determined that employees cannot safely travel to and from, or perform work at, their normal worksite, a telework site, or other approved location because of severe weather or other emergency situations.
- When a "Delayed Arrival" policy is in place for non-emergency employees due to inclement weather conditions. The Office of Personnel Management will announce the number of hours employees are requested to arrive at work later than their normal arrival time.
- When the Federal Government is operating under an "adjusted work dismissal" policy or the workplace is closed due to inclement weather.
- When an IHS facility temporarily closes due to a threat to employees' health or safety, e.g., fire, toxic fumes, or loss of those utilities provided in the building for the comfort and convenience of the occupants, e.g., power, water, heating, ventilation.
- Supervisors should partner with their employee and/or labor relations specialists for assistance with Investigative and Notice Leave
The listings above is NOT all-inclusive. Consult your Administrative Officer Office for additional guidance.
An employee may use up to 7 days of paid leave each calendar year to serve as a bone-marrow donor. An employee also may use up to 30 days of paid leave each calendar year to serve as an organ donor. Leave for bone marrow and organ donation is a separate category of leave that is in addition to annual and sick leave. An employee may use up to 7 days of paid leave each calendar year to serve as a bone-marrow donor. An employee also may use up to 30 days of paid leave each calendar year to serve as an organ donor. Leave for bone marrow and organ donation is a separate category of leave that is in addition to annual and sick leave.
The FMLA became effective on August 3, 1993. Basic provisions of this Act are as follows:
- An employee will be granted up to a total of 12 administrative workweeks of unpaid leave (LWOP) and may elect to substitute available paid annual and/or sick leave as allowed by law or regulation during any 12-month period for one or more of the following reasons:
- Birth of a son or daughter of the employee and the medical care of the newborn child (within one year after birth);
- Placement of a son or daughter with the employee for adoption or foster care (within one year after placement);
- Care for a family member of the employee with a serious health condition; or
- A serious health condition of the employee that makes the employee unable to perform any one or more of the essential functions of his or her position.
- This leave is in addition to any paid leave that is authorized and is available to both male and female employees.
- An employee must invoke his or her entitlement to leave under the FMLA and must provide medical certification of the serious health condition. An employee may not retroactively invoke entitlement to leave under the FMLA or retroactively substitute paid leave for any previous unpaid absence from work.
- An employee must provide notice of his or her intent to take family and medical leave not less than 30 days before leave is to begin or, in emergencies, as soon as is practicable.
- Employees retain their health benefits coverage during the entire period they are on FMLA.
- For additional information on family leave programs, employees should consult their Administrative Officer.
Employees may schedule and should be granted up to 24 hours of leave without pay each year (during any 12-month period) for the following purposes:
- To allow employees to participate in school activities directly related to the educational advancement of a child. This would include parent-teacher conferences or meetings with childcare providers, interviewing for a new school or childcare facility, or participating in volunteer activities supporting the child's educational advancement. For the purpose of this directive, school refers to an elementary school, secondary school, Head Start program, or a childcare facility.
- To allow parents to accompany children to routine medical or dental appointments, such as annual checkups or vaccinations. Although these activities are not currently covered by the FMLA, the FFLA does permit employees to use up to 13 days of sick leave each year for such purposes. However, employees may use up to 24 hours of LWOP each year for these purposes in cases when no additional sick leave is available to them.
- To allow employees to accompany an elderly relative (per definition of family member under the FFLA) to routine medical or dental appointments or other professional services related to the care of the elderly relative, such as making arrangements for housing, meals, phones, banking services, and other similar activities. Although employees can use unpaid leave or sick leave for certain of the activities under the FMLA or FFLA, such as caring for a parent with a serious medical condition, employees may use up to 24 hours of unpaid time off each year for this broader range of activities related to elderly relatives' health or care needs.
- LAOs may require evidence that is administratively acceptable, including medical certification, as appropriate, from an employee who requests leave under the expanded family friendly leave policies.
- Additionally, LAOs shall grant employees' requests to substitute paid time off, such as annual leave, compensatory time off, and credit hours under flexible work schedules, for these family activities when such leave is available to these employees.
PPL became effective as part of the Federal Employee Paid Leave Act (FEPLA) on Oct. 1, 2020. FEPLA amended the FMLA to allow the use of up to 12 weeks of PPL granted in connection with the birth of an employee’s child or the placement of a child with an employee for adoption or foster care.
- PPL applies to federal employees who meet eligibility requirements for Title 5 FMLA
- PPL is available to eligible employees only in connection with the birth or placement of a son or daughter that occurs on or after October 1, 2020 and is not effective with respect to any birth or placement (for adoption or foster care) occurring before October 1, 2020.
- An employee must invoke FMLA for the birth or placement of a son or daughter and provide advance notice to their supervisor, in writing, of their intent to substitute paid leave for FMLA unpaid leave using the PPL Request Form.
- An employee must provide appropriate documentation, verifying that his/her use of PPL is directly connected to a birth or placement that has occurred.
- Employees must sign a service agreement to work for 12 weeks after the day on which PPL concludes. Failure to complete the 12-week work obligation may require the employee to reimburse the agency for the total amount of any Government contribution paid to maintain your health insurance coverage under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program during the period that PPL was used.
- PPL may be used no later than the end of the 12-month period beginning on the date of the birth or placement involved. At the end of that 12-month period, any unused balance of PPL granted in connection with the given birth or placement permanently expires and is not available for future use. PPL may be used intermittently within this established timeframe.
- There is no requirement to exhaust other paid leave types (e.g., annual, sick, etc.) before using PPL. Employees may request to use other types of leave to cover periods of time outside of FMLA leave periods. In addition, an employee may take unpaid FMLA leave before the birth or placement to cover certain activities related to the birth or placement but cannot substitute paid parental leave for those pre-birth/placement FMLA unpaid leave periods.
On April 1, 2022, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) issued guidance to implement parental bereavement leave, a new type of paid leave benefit available to most federal employees beginning December 27, 2021. Parental bereavement leave entitles covered employees to two (2) workweeks of paid leave in connection with the death of an employee’s son or daughter. The parental bereavement leave must be used within a 12-month period.
To be eligible for parental bereavement leave, federal employees must meet the following conditions at the time of the child’s death. Employees must:
- Be covered under the title 5 annual and sick leave program;
- Be serving under a permanent or term appointment (employees on a temporary appointment of one year or less are ineligible);
- Be on an established part-time or full-time work schedule (employees on an intermittent work schedule are ineligible); and
- Have completed at least 12 months of service as an employee (as defined in 5 U.S.C. 2105, Employee ) of the Government of the United States, including service with the United States Postal Service, the Postal Regulatory Commission, and a nonappropriated fund instrumentality as described in section 2105(c).
A child (son or daughter) means a biological, adopted, or foster child; a stepchild; a legal ward; or a child of a person standing in loco parentis who is: (1) under 18 years of age or (2) who is 18 years of age or older and incapable of self-care because of a mental or physical disability.
Refer to OPM’s Guidance on Parental Bereavement Leave for details on:
- General Information
- Eligible Employees
- Leave Entitlement (Limitation in 12-month period; definitions; conversion to hours; change in duty station; and negation of entitlement.)
- Usage of Leave and Payments (Employee requests; leave payment; leave increments; scheduled hours; timing of use; retroactive use; and more.)
- Employee Notification and Recordkeeping
Until this new type of leave is programmed into the HHS payroll provider’s system, requests to use Paid Parental Bereavement leave should be made in the following manner:
- Log in to ITAS via the Access Management System (AMS). A PIV card is required to access thesystem.
- From the menu panel, click the “Request Leave” link
- Enter the “Start Date”
- Enter the “End Date”a.For partial days only, select a “Start Time” from the “Hour” and “Minute” drop-down list
- Select an “End Time” from the “Hour” and “Minute” drop-down list
- Click “Calculate Hours”
- Select “Other Types” to expand leave types
- Scroll down and enter the total hours in the “Excused Absence” fielda.For multiple full days of like hours, enter the total number of hours for all days beingrequested. For example, 2 weeks are being requested from 12/27/21 to 01/07/22, enter80 hours. (Employees are entitled to 2 workweeks of parental bereavement leave inconnection with the death of an employee’s qualifying child)
- In the “Leave Comments” section, enter Death of a Child
- Click the “OK” button